I came to pay my Orange bill, which my neighbor's little kids tore up in the stairwell, I say. I give him my identity card, he stares at me, presses some buttons, then again his eyes land on me. He says: taking into account that there are 15 calls to the hotline, spoken in another country as far as it goes, you have 4,000 lei to pay. I suddenly get dizzy and see orange in front of my eyes, the ceiling swirls and I drop. Bring water, I hear as if in a dream. Sorry, it was just a prank, says the young man, 40 is due. I leave, pull the door open and throw up on the stairs. Oranges.

(Translated by Delia-Maria Cocoș / University of Bucharest, Faculty of Foreign Languages and Literatures, MTTLC, year II / Corrected by Silvia Petrescu, coordinator of the translations)

Real Fiction is a collective project started in 2013 by Florin Piersic Jr. The concept of Real Fiction continued to exist as a Facebook group, after a volume of stories was published at Humanitas Publishing House. (In March 2023, the group has 10,790 members.) The authors write ultra-short stories, with the texts limited to 500 characters (in Romanian, so the length of the English translation might be a little different) - a flash-fiction exercise on a topic that changes every few days. The group's coordinators are Florin Piersic Jr., Gabriel Molnar, Răzvan Penescu, Luchian Abel, and Vlad Mușat. (Drawing by Adrian T. Roman)

Versiunea în română a acestui text se poate citi aici, în rubrica Ficțiuni Reale.

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